Official's daughter in trouble over photos
Updated: 2011-09-27 07:35
By Qiu Bo (China Daily)
GUIYANG - Photos appearing to give evidence of a lavish life have dragged the daughter of a Guizhou province official into an online controversy.
The trouble for You Yixi, a 21-year-old college student in the provincial capital of Guiyang, began when a netizen going by the name laughingsir went to his micro blog to post photos of a young woman with two designer bags. The netizen claimed the images had come from You Yixi's own micro blog.
Netizens, some of whom said the bags in the picture had cost at least 100,000 yuan ($15,639), suggested that You Yixi could not have got them without help from her father, You Chenghua, who is the deputy head of Guizhou's Jinping county.
The photos and the speculations they gave rise to have since been widely circulated on Chinese websites, leaving You Yixi and her father faced with an army of netizens who are suspicious about the connection between her alleged possessions and her father's position in government.
In addition to the pictures, questions have also been raised about You Yixi's words. More than 3,000 online views and many expletives were the response from netizens to a post of hers that said, "the gift for uncle is worth 17,000 yuan and I will pay 6,000 yuan of that".
"How can a county official afford to be so extravagant toward his kid?" said a netizen going by the name Qingzhemu. "Where is this money coming from?"
The girl later denied that she was trying to be ostentatious and said she published the photos online out of sheer vanity.
"I wasn't trying to show off when I posted the pictures of the bags on my micro blog, only to put my beauty on display and to make myself proud, just as other girls do," she told China Daily. "It just fed my vanity. I never expected people to believe (the bags) are expensive."
A photo published by You Yixi on her micro blog.
The girl also deleted all of the pictures and words that had been subjects of criticism on her micro blog. She said, "I don't know if I offended someone and why they would slander me."
You Yixi's father said on Monday that he gives his daughter 800 yuan in pocket money each month.
"She earns about 200 yuan a month through tutoring people in private dance classes," he said. "She doesn't spend as much as netizens think."
He also produced the receipts from his daughter's online purchases. They showed that one of the bags cost 70 yuan and the other 90 yuan.
"The bags were delivered in July when I was at home," he said.
As for the 6,000 yuan to be used for the "gift", the girl said it is actually her boyfriend's money.
"The incident has had bad consequences not just for my career, but more importantly, for my whole family," You Chenghua said, adding that he has not supervised his daughter enough.
Some said they are still skeptical.
"I don't buy You (Yixi's) story," said Chen Chi, a 27-year-old Beijing resident. "The public are not fools, and someone should investigate this further."
"There are many cases in which the children of government officials or businessmen have shown off or behaved immorally and unscrupulously in public places," said Gu Jun, a professor of sociology at Shanghai University. "We should ask: Who gave them the idea that they can act like this?"
(China Daily 09/27/2011 page4)
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